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What to Know About Cut Flowers: Best Varieties & How to Care for Them

Flowers are such as cheerful thing to give, receive and just have around your home.  Flowers are given for anniversaries, celebrations of life, birthdays, Valentines Day and more.  They can be pricey when you buy them at the store, so why not grow your own this Summer.  I'm going to go over the best cut flower varieties to grow this year in your own flower garden.

Best Cut Flower Varieties to Grow

There are so many types of flowers can can be grown to cut.  If you will be buying a lot of flowers, you may want to buy some wholesale flowers.  There are also many places to order fresh cut flowers that have already been cut.  So , with that being said, here are the best cut flowers to buy.

Alstroemeria

This flower is a very popular cut flower, even though a lot of people do not recognize the name. Alstroemeria flowers grow in late spring and early summer.  They come in shades of white, pink, yellow, orange, and red.  They will last 6 to 14 days in a vase.  Keep in mind that that this flower is sensitive to flouride water.  If you are using fluoride water, let it sit for a few hours before using.

Photo Credit: The Spruce

Bird of Paradise

The flowers on the Bird of Paradise look exactly like colorful birds about to take flight.  Because of its bright colors, this flower can make a great cut flower.  Its vase life is 7 to 14 days.  This is a tropical plant, so it needs lots of sunshine and warmth.  It must be grown in frost-free areas, whether its grown indoors or outdoors.

Photo Credit: The Spruce

Carnations

Carnations are one of the longest lasting cut flowers, lasting up to 21 days in a vase.  They are easy to grow from seed, and come in colors in white, pink, and red.  There are also other new colors that have been bred.

Photo Credit: The Spruce

Gladiolus

This flower is one of the most popular Summer bulbs to grow.  Its vase life is 7 to 10 days.  Make sure to watch the water level in the vase, as these flowers are thirsty cut flowers.  They can reach the height of 4 to 6 feet, and have tall, spiky flower stalks.  If so buds won't open, you can open them by putting warm water in the vase and covering the flowers with a clear plastic bag. Gladiolus are sensitive to fluoride, so let the water sit for a few hours before using it.

Photo Credit: The Spruce

Lilies

Not only do lilies look nice in a vase, but they can also add a beautiful fragrance to your house.  The Oriental lily has the best fragrance.  Before putting your lilies in a vase, remove the stamens by hand.  The stamens can drop pollen, and cause yellow stains on furniture and clothing.   Lilies last 7 to 14 days in a vase.

Photo Credit: The Spruce

Poppy

Poppies work well as a cut flower, and can add some color to your home.  They come in white, cream, peach, yellow, orange, pink, red, and purple.  Peony Poppies, Breadseed Poppies, and Shirley Poppies are all great cut flowers.   

Red Hot Poker

If you are wanting an unique looking flower, this flower is definitely a good choice.  Also called the torch lily, this flower blooms in shades of green, yellow, orange, and red.  This flower is a perennial, is attractive to hummingbirds, and grows great with daylilies.   It is heat tolerant, and it prefers drained soils during the winter.   

Roses

Roses are another common cut flower that will last 6 to 12 days in a vase.  There are 20,000 varieties of roses, so don't worry about not having any choices.  You can grow any type you want, but long stem roses are recommended by the florist industry.  Before you put the roses in the vase, crush the end of the stem so they will take in more water.

Photo Credit: The Spruce

Sunflowers

Sunflowers will last 6 to 12 days in a vase.  The traditional sunflower has yellow flowers, but there are lots of new hybrids with new colors including red and bronze.  Because sunflowers have heavy flowers, you may need to use a taller vase that can support them.

Photo Credit: The Spruce

Zinnia

Zinnias come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.  There are many color choices, including white, cream, yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, multi-colored, variegated, or lime green.  This flower is very easy to grow, and it is fine in heat and drought.  Another nice feature of zinnias are that they are resistant to deer.  

How to Arrange Flowers In a Vase

Now that you know the best cut flowers to grow, it is time to learn how to arrange them in a vase.  Fortunately for you, the process is short and easy.  With that being said, there is more to the process than throwing the flowers in a vase full of water.  In fact, that method is never recommended.  Instead, you will need to take the time to prepare the flowers, trim the flowers, and arrange the flowers.  I'm going to go over a few tips given by professionals on arranging flowers.

Trim the Stem

Before you arrange your flowers in a vase, you will need to trim the stems.  How much stem that needs trimmed will depend on what type of stem your flower has.  There are 5 types of stems: hearty, hollow, soft, woody, or milky.  With hearty stems, also called solid stems, you will only need to make a diagonal cut.  Hollow stems will require more work.  With hollow stems, you need to pour water into the stem and plug the stem with a piece of cotton.  This will keep your flower healthy and make it thrive.  Soft stems need cut right before the green starts on the stem.  For woody stems, split the ends of the stems.  And lastly, milky stems will need to be seared.  To do this, you can either dip the end of the stem into boiling water for 30 seconds, or you can apply a flame to the cut end for 30 seconds.

The Height of the Flowers Should be Around the Size of the Vase

Make sure the flowers are not much taller than the vase.  If you have tall flowers, you should use a taller vase.

Add Support for the Flowers

Unless your flowers are very short, you will need to add support for your flowers.  One way to do this is use the flowers themselves.  Simply angle each flower so that only the center flower is completely straight.

Ways to Make Cut Flowers Last

It is easy to remember to care for your flowers while they are growing, but once the flowers are harvested they often get neglected.  This can cause your flowers to wilt and become limp.  That is why I've included 5 ways to make your flowers last longer.  Let's get started.

#1: Never Overcrowd the Flowers

Too many flowers in a vase is not healthy for your plants.  Although you want your vase to look full of flowers, too many can cause your flowers to suck up too much water and push against each other.  Make sure your flowers are spaced out.

#2: Refill the Water Level If Needed

To make your flowers last as long as possible, you will need to add more water into the vase.  Some flowers will need more water than others.  For example, the Gladiolus flower is a thirsty flower, so you will need to refill the vase often.

#3: Empty the Water Every Other Day

Not only must you refill the vase often, but you should also empty the water from the vase often.  It is recommended to change the water every other day.  This will double the life of your flowers, since there may be bacteria in the water.

#4: Discard Wilted Blooms

If you notice some flowers to be wilted or limp, it is best to cut them off.  Not only will this look better, but it will also be healthy for your other plants.

#5: Recut Stems

Each time you change the water, right before you put the flowers back in you should cut the ends.  Take about a 1/2 inch off.  This will get rid of any bacteria that may have developed in the stem, and will get rid of air bubbles.

Where Can I Buy Flowers In Bulk?

There are many places to buy flowers in bulk.  One such place is the Atlanta Wholesale Florist.  This site sells flowers in bulk at a wholesale price.  Another great site is cutflower.com.  The Flower Warehouse sells flowers as well.  If you are wanting to see more cut flower options, search on the internet "where to buy cut flowers near me", "wholesale flower suppliers near me", or "cheap cut flowers near me".  Once you search those words, some websites that sell fresh flowers in bulk should pop up.  Keep in mind that cut flower prices are going to be expensive, so you may want to consider growing your own flowers from seed.  

Conclusion

I've gone over different types of flowers to grow that make great cut flowers.  I've also explained how to arrange them in a vase to get the best effect and how to make flowers last.  If you wanted to know where to buy flowers in bulk, I've covered that too.  Have a wonderful Summer and enjoy the fruits of your labor by placing cut flowers around your home and giving them as gifts.

Mariann Foster

I am one of our content writers for Everything Backyard. I am a mother and business owner of Big Horn Mountain Alpacas in Wyoming. I love farm life, cutting my own firewood in the mountains, and participating in local trail run races.

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